The more cynical Arsenal supporters are suggesting he is playing for a new contract or worse, a move. Others are hoping he is revelling in his role as captain, leader and main source of inspiration in an Arsenal team still recovering from a bruising start to the season. Either way, there is no stopping Robin Van Persie right now.
A 4-3 horror show of a defeat to Blackburn in September left Gunners fans wondering whether the season was to be spent languishing in mid-table, a comfortable position for some, but not for a side who haven’t been out of the top four since 1996.
But the club have quietly begun to re-build the season, winning eight of their last nine games in all competitions since the disaster at Ewood– the sole defeat coming against north London rivals Tottenham.
The inspiration on the revival is undoubtedly Dutch striker Van Persie, who has hit 12 goals already this season, taking his Premier League tally for the calendar year to an astounding 28 in 27 games, justifying his tag as a favourite in the Premiership top scorer betting.
He also seems to be thriving in the role of captain, with the summer departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri leaving him as the obvious senior choice to take the armband. He is taking leading by example to a whole new level.
He isn’t alone in the Gunners’ quiet revolution, Aaron Ramsey has made great strides this season, almost revelling in the spotlight made free by the departures of Fabregas and Nasri. Theo Walcott, almost written off last season, has made great strides and is beginning to resemble the player we all thought he would be when he burst into the Southampton team six years ago.
The run-away Manchester clubs suggests that Arsenal’s lengthy premier league odds are justified – and Wenger himself has already ruled out the title, something he doesn’t usually do until mid-April. But their performance at Chelsea gave them the real belief that they could compete with the best in the country again – something that 8-2 hammering by United in August took away.
The key now for Arsenal fans is sustaining the run and thus ensuring their leader and main source of inspiration is happy to commit his future to the club, with the looming presence of money-bags Man City a growing concern.